The original version of the following article was posted at Creative Roundtable on February 1, 2010.
This has been a most interesting time in human history in which to be a creator. To visualize something and then try to bring it into real form.
Perhaps this form is a song, a photograph, a painting, a business, a school, a relationship, a life style, an image, healing on some level. To be human is to be a creator.
We are not the only species that creates, but we are the ones who have free will to choose what we will create. Can you imagine a bluebird deciding one spring that it isn’t going to build the same nest as everyone else again this year? Or the salmon deciding that this year they are going to swim downstream to spawn instead?
In the 21st century, there is a lot of permission to create something completely different than anything that has ever been done before, though one may still encounter resistance for bringing a brand new idea to the table. Do you remember the first electric car, the one destroyed by big auto makers and oil interests back in the 90’s? That same electric car is now being manufactured by a big auto maker. Perhaps it needed a bit more time to have permission to be here. Or perhaps we needed more permission to have the electric car.
One reason I hold an optimistic view of our future as humans on this planet is that I see how very strong the human spirit is. Once a human being has decided to have, be, or do something, that something is much closer to becoming real. We each create on an energy level first, with our spirit. Then we decide to continue the process and manifest our creation, making it real, or not.
We can create anything we want, simply by deciding. All it takes is one person with an idea, one who isn’t afraid to show her or his idea to others. We can create miracles, individually and together. For example, when enough of us have decided we are through with needless wars, they will cease to exist. When we have decided to make the choices needed to heal our environment, we will do so. And so on.
Creating something brilliant is not up to someone else out there, it actually begins within each one of us. Creativity is an exercise of the human spirit. It is fascinating to see how different people decide to create, and what it is they choose to create.
Art and creativity speak to the spirit, which is one reason the arts have been under such fierce attack in recent decades. If the human spirit is healthy and creatively alive, it is able to move past blocks and controls. When one has been on a prolonged diet of mindless TV drama, bad “news”, and mass-produced culture, one becomes weakened. What is “real” is dictated by someone else other than oneself.
Art makes people stronger, healthier, happier, and smarter. Creating brings out the best in all of us. As an artist who has taught art to children of all economic backgrounds, I’ve seen repeatedly that it is through creativity that children learn effortlessly. As it is for children, so it is for adults. There is a deep desire in each of us to create, something.
Art and creativity validate, heal, and say hello to the human spirit, on every level. It is possible to heal yourself on many levels, by creating what it is you love.
What is creating but making choices? Everything each of us has right now in our lives, we created. I’m amused when I hear people say that they can’t create, since they’ve already created everything they have in their lives. Perhaps they have done so unconsciously, to experience or learn something for themselves.
The success of such sites as Etsy and the dawn of the DIY movement have created new generations of artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs. The economic downturn has created a whole lot of new creators out there. Some of these new creators are in the business of teaching others how to unlock this for themselves. It’s a new world. When someone believes he or she is unable to be creative, this is invalidation talking. Can it be partly the invalidation of being raised in a consumer society that places high value on mass produced objects and low value on anything that is “handmade”? It looks like those days are behind us now, I’m happy to say.
As 2010 opens, it looks like now is the time to bring ourselves to the table, and discuss what we each have to give. The slow economy has helped many of us to take some small steps, and also some giant leaps! into our creativity. After losing the self image often associated with a particular title, job, or line of work, humans naturally look for the answer to a very old question in other ways, “who am I? what am I here for?”.
It’s wonderful to see that the ball is now in each of our own courts. We each have far more ability in the 21st century to create for ourselves, and share it with the world. We are empowered in ways that were not possible even a decade ago, because we have communication tools that allow us to share, learn, create and grow.
However, it’s important to remember that the most powerful tool we have is already within each of us. It is that human spirit that keeps us moving forward, creating new worlds.
©Kris Cahill 2007-2012 All Rights Reserved.